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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

1932 :: Report of 1882 Bids for Capitol Lands

Dallas Herald, December 31, 1882. The bids for the Capitol lands were opened yesterday. Walter Scheill of Rock Island, Ill., offered to erect the building for 3,000,000 acres. A.A. Burck of Rockdale offered to build for 2,970,000 acres. Both bids were backed by syndicates. Fifty Years Ago. Dallas Morning News, December 31, 1932

Monday, December 16, 2013

1965 :: Christmas Pageant

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. Luke 2:9-12

Once upon a time . . . back in the 20th century . . . the words printed above were read by a school-age narrator during the annual Christmas pageant in Rockdale . . . this was a pageant traditionally held in the auditorium at Rockdale High School . . . the following news clipping is regarding the 1965 Christmas pageant . . .

The Rockdale Reporter and Messenger, Rockdale, Milam County, Texas, Thursday, December 16, 1965, page one
The Christmas Story will be told at 7:30 p.m. Friday by more than 200 junior-high school students when they stage their Christmas pageant in the high school auditorium. A highlight of the Christmas season in Rockdale in past years, the pageant will this year involve 211 students, according to Ernie Laurence, junior-high principal. The pageant will tell the story of the birth of Christ. Beverly Yoakum and Joe Caldwell will portray Mary and Joseph, and Jane Johnston and Jim Crow will be the narrators.

Friday's program will begin with a greeting from Laurence, followed by Brenda Yoakum, prologue; Billy Harris, invocation; and Peter Erskine, scripture reading.

A musical selection will be presented by a vocal quartet consisting of Susan Abel, Shirley Cleveland, Vivian Burgess and Tresha Morton. A 127-member choir will also furnish Christmas music for the pageant and Deborah Hosek will be the pianist.

Others in the cast: Bill Hulse as Gabriel; Bobby Chaney, Jim Eanes and Jerry Haupt as the three wise men; Byron Christian, Jeffery Clark, Alfred Gest, Lee McMurtry, Richard Melcher, John Montoya, Billy Muston, Darrell White, Clayton Young and Carl Cleveland as the shepherds.

Also Sheryl Culp, Marcia Currey, Pam Holloway, Thana Keen, Rosemary Kyle, Libby Whitely, Judy Johnson, Dana Richardson, Becky Robbins, Vicki Vincent, Ava Wardlaw and Marilyn Worley as the angels.

Candlebearers will be Minta Auchmoody, Brenda Boyd, Mary Camp, Dora Cortinez, Wanda Crocker, Linda Cruz, Sally Curtis, Judy Dyer, Sherra Floyd, Teresa Fritz, Nancy Isaacs, Kathy Jeter, Teresa Jones, Olivia Matl, Patricia McGowan, Donna Morgan, Bridget Mortimer, Patti O'Connor, Vickie Pounders, Patricia Pinkerton, Susan Pursche, Roberta Richards, Denise Thompson and Diane Timmerman.

The Rev. Frank Cady, pastor of St. John's Methodist Church and president of the Rockdale Ministerial Alliance, will give the benediction. 

Choir members will be --

Becky Alford, Debbi Alford, Donna Angell, Mary Lou Armstrong, Paul Auchmoody

Janie Backhaus, Allan Ball, Tamara Baxter, Landis Bayless, Sheila Bell, David Bennett, James Birkhead, Judy Black, Thomas Blackburn, Denise Botts, Ann Bouldin, Patti Bouldin, Bert Brown

Vickie Caffey, Debbie Cates, Debra Chaney, Roger Clark, Cherry Collier, Bill Cotton, Gloria Cruz, Debra Currey

Gloria Darby, Beverly Dornhoefer, Lavita Doss, Donna Dyer

Kenny Earman, Phyllis Eiland

Doris Fatheree, Lynda Freeman, Mike Fuller

Cathy Garza, Belinda Gest, Randy Graves, Mike Green, Bennye Grubbs, Susan Guillotte, Steve Gunn

Patricia Haining, Rola Haining, Henry Hall, Arlyn Hammett, Beverly Hirt, John Hogan, Mary Ann Holliman, Robin Hoskins

Larry Ingram

Rosemary Jackson, Patricia Jackson, Allan Jones, Daniel Jones, Rickey Jones, Ruben Juarez, Pamela Jumper

Betty Key, Donald Knott, Donna Kopecky, Virginia Kraatz, Joyce Krenek

Daniel Laird, Donna Lawson, Sharon Lawson, Charlotte Lester, Sue Lumpkins

Johnny Manning, Virginia Mantel, Billy Martin, Cathy Martin, Joey Mason, Donna Mathews, Delores McIrvin, Jimette McNiel, Charlene Melcher, Darlene Melcher, Nannette Menn, Donna Meyers, Susan Morgan, Linda Morton, Bonnie Muston, Carol Mowdy

Elaine Nink, Margaret Nolan

Janie Ortega, Bonnie Owen

Judy Parmelee, Wanda Patterson, Pattie Peebles, Jane Philippus, Darrell Phillips, Becky Pounders;

Donna Ray, Sandy Reed, Patty Remaley, Debbie Richardson, Kathy Romine

Mary Serrato, Annette Sexton, Marion Snelgro, Mary Sonntag, Elaine Stewart, Carol Strelsky

Linda Tate, Bruce Thaler, James Throckmorton, Judy Throckmorton, Cindy Tindall, Priestly Tindall, Nelda Todd, Rose Mary Tyus, William Tyus

Linda Valigura, Tom Valigura, Jimmy Voyles

Darrell Walker, Diana Wenger, Patricia Wenger, Paul Wilcox, Sheila Willard, Sid Williams

Linda Yezak, Leah Young

Serving as Ushers will be Charles Criddle, Darrell Hirt, Darrell Jacob, Mike Lankford, and William Peebles. 

Hostesses will be Lynette Bayless, Lynn Schwarzer, Shelly Roddam and Deborah Sandidge.

Alternates are Janie Backhaus, Vivan Burgess, Sally Curtis, Kim Nichols, Jim Eanes, Sherra Floyd and Terry Hoskins.

Stage Helpers are Johnny Jones, Dan Legg, Ritchie Lester, David Mathews, Richard Munoz and Roy Graham.

Part of the pageantry included junior-high girls wearing white choir robes and carrying lighted candles as they entered from the back of the auditorium . . . they were singing Star of the East as they walked down the double aisles to the front of the stage . . .  

Star of the East, Oh Bethlehem's star,
Guiding us on to Heaven afar!
Sorrow and grief are lull'd by the light.

Thou hope of each mortal, in death's lonely night!
Fearless and tranquil, we look up to thee!

Knowing thou beam'st thro' eternity!
Help us to follow where Thou still dost guide,

Pilgrims of earth so wide.

Star of the East, thou hope of the soul,
While round us here the dark billows roll,
Lead us from sin to glory afar,

Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem's star.
Oh star that leads to God above!

Whose rays are Peace and Joy and Love!
Watch o'er us still till life hath ceased,

Beam on, bright star, sweet Bethlehem star!

Star of the East, undim'd by each cloud
What tho' the storms of grief gather loud?
Faithful and pure thy rays beam to save,

Still bright o'er the cradle, and bright o'er the grave!
Smiles of a Saviour are mirror'd in thee!

Glimpses of Heav'n in thy light we see!
Guide us still onward to that blessed shore,

After earth's toil is o'er!

Star of the East, thou hope of the soul,
While round us here the dark billows roll,
Lead us from sin to glory afar,

Thou star of the East, thou sweet Bethlehem's star.
Oh star that leads to God above!

Whose rays are Peace and Joy and Love!
Watch o'er us still till life hath ceased,

Beam on, bright star, sweet Bethlehem star!

The Star Of The East 1918
Music by: Amanda Kennedy
Lyrics by: George Cooper

Merry Christmas, Y'all!

Originally posted 08 December 2000
at the now defunct

For history of this song, as well as various recordings of this song from youtube, please visit our family history blog at . . .


Monday, December 2, 2013

1880 :: Death of William Broadnax

At Cameron on Wednesday night, a dispute arose in a barroom between Robert Boykin, jr., a boy of 19 and William Broadnax, an inoffensive gentleman. Boykin called him a liar and other offensive epithets, Broadnax threw a tumbler at him, when he drew his revolver and shot Broadnax, killing him instantly. The boy made his escape. . . . Boykin, the boy who murdered W.H. Broadnax at Cameron, on the 24th inst. has been arrested and is now in jail at Cameron. A reward of $500 offered by private citizens secured Boykin's arrest. Brenham Weekly Banner, December 2, 1880

1933 :: Death of C.K. Stribling

Rockdale, Texas, Dec. 1. -- Funeral services for C.K. Stribling, who died Wednesday, were held Thursday morning. Mr. Stribling had lived in Rockdale for more than fifty years and married Miss Mary Copeland, daughter of the late W.E. Copeland, pioneer Presbyterian minister. 

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary C. Stribling; one son, Ralph Stribling of Houston; seven daughters, Mrs. Reed Laurence of Castroville, Mrs. W.S. McClintock of Refugio, Mrs. Alfred Dippel of Dallas, Mrs. Esther Quinlan, Misses Catherine, Cornelia and Helen Stribling of Rockdale, and two sisters, Mrs. Kate Gentry of Corpus Christi and Mrs. W.A. Morrison of Cameron. Dallas Morning News, December 2, 1933

Sunday, December 1, 2013

1922 :: Death of A.P. Perry, Jr.

The death Tuesday morning and burial Wednesday afternoon of Andrew P. Perry Jr., 49, threw the whole town into mourning, as Mr. Perry was one of the most beloved and useful citizens. He died following a lingering illness which had lasted more than a year. Mr. Perry was a native of this place and had been in the drug business here since 1899. He was connected with every important activity of the town, was an active Mason, a Knight of Pythias and a Woodman. He was married to Miss Laura Vandevetter in 1907 and his widow and son, George, survive him. Services were conducted at the family residence by the Rev. G.B. Tumlin, pastor of the First Baptist Church, of which the dead man had been a member since early manhood. The pastor was assisted at the graveside by the Rev. Joseph Carden, rector of the Episcopal Church. Flowers were sent for the burial from all over Texas, and Rockdale business hours were closed from 3 to 5 p.m. out of respect. Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1922 

1902 :: Death of William Pleasants

Ennis, Ellis Co., Tex., Nov. 28. -- William Pleasants, a young man from Rockdale, died here Thursday evening at the home of his sister, Mrs. C.W. McKenney. The remains were taken to Rockdale today for burial. Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1902 

1896 :: Death of Dr. Letcher

Dr. Joseph Stephens Letcher, who died yesterday at his home in this city, was born in Alabama forty-six years ago, and has ended peacefully a remarkably active and useful life. He leaves a devoted wife and three interesting and promising children. As a physician he has, by unceasing labor and the best opportunities discovered by himself, arisen from obscurity to the first place in his profession, and as a Christian gentleman he was honored and beloved by a large circle of friends. His medical experience was varied, having practiced eleven years in Milam* county, Texas, six years in Lampasas and since 1889 in the city of Dallas. During this later period and prior to the appointment of Dr. C.M. Rosser to the position now held they were associated professionally together. His practice has been general, including surgery. He was surgeon for railroad companies and vice president of the Texas Railway Surgeon's association, as also of the Texas State Medical association. He was examiner for nearly all insurance companies located here, and for three of them was medical referee for Texas. Dr. Letcher was a man of great head and heart, affectionate with his friends and true to all men. He was of cheerful temperament and, being given much to the happiness of others, was universally beloved. Perhaps the most signal service attained here, and longest to be remembered, was that which attended his efforts for the establishment of the charity hospital now in course of construction. In this he was ably seconded by the local profession, but to his energy and zeal is largely due the gratitude of the people for this blessing. The funeral services will be held in the second Baptist church to-day, and the burial will follow at Oakland cemetery. . . . Dallas Morning News, December 1, 1896 [*He was enumerated in Maysfield on the 1880 census.]